Visit in RWTH Aachen

During a trip in Germany, a group of members of the Catalan Engineers Association (Col-legi d’Enginyers Industrials de Catalunya) had the opportunity to visit the University of Aachen, “Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen)”, one of the most important technical universities in Germany. The visit started meeting the director of the International Office, Dr Dieter Janssen, and followed up with a reception and a short tour through the institute of automotive engineering ika.

In an institutional meeting, Dr Janssen presented the facts and figures of the RWTH Aachen. The university has 10 faculties and more than 45.000 students, over half of them having their scope of studies in engineering. Since the RWTH is an international well known University, many foreign students are applying for their studies there, the most of them coming from China followed by India and Turkey. Spain is in the 10th position. An interesting topic: the number of men and women among the international students is more balanced than in other German universities.

Ms Claßen, vice-director of the department for excellence in education, explained the studies’ structure: a bachelor plus a master in 6 plus 4 terms except for the mechanical engineering, which takes 7 plus 3 terms. RWTH is the only university to have this studies duration, making its title unique in Europe and a sign of excellence among the best universities of the world. The attendants from the RWTH were very interested in the fact that the same studies in Spain and Catalonia have 8 plus 4 terms. In Germany the maximum length of studies bachelor plus master is 10 terms.

An important topic during the meeting was the financial strategy of the RWTH, which is partly funded by private enterprises without losing its independence on the research fields and on the educational part. Several chairs and institutes created a parallel system of spin-off enterprises which can be contracted by very well-known German and international companies to solve some research and development tasks. At the same time, the institutes can follow up with its educational mandate and stay up to date with the most trending topics of the industry and taking advantage of the economic situation from their spin-offs.

As an example of it the group of the EIC had the chance to visit the institute for automotive engineering (ika) and its spin-off (fka). After a short introduction of the managing director Dr Markus Bröckerhoff, the visit went through the test benches of the institute and finished with a presentation of the new concept car SpeedE.